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Staffing Changes at Baratza

April 17, 2015

team-sarah-smThe day has come for us to bid farewell to Sarah Dooley who has been on our team since July 2013. We’re excited for Sarah as she sets out on her new adventure that is Milk and Coffee Co..

Sarah has been a fantastic resource to Baratza in the education of our customers. She’s raised the bar of our coffee knowledge, so we can better understand and support our customers. Sarah developed an important and much used library of troubleshooting videos to assist our customers. She also worked closely with co-owner and designer, Kyle Anderson, to ensure that Baratza grinders maximize their flavor experience. We will miss Sarah’s charm, warm smile, gracious nature and her amazing cooking skills. Serious team lunches were crafted at our Bellevue HQ!

Good Luck Sarah!

IMG_0156Just in time for SCAA 2015, we were delighted to welcome Amy Elliott to the Bellevue office. Nothing like trial by fire! Right now she is doing a bit of everything for Baratza. Amy mainly works with our support and operations team, providing customer support via email and phone. She has an extensive knowledge of coffee from her days as a barista at Ladro Coffee making her well qualified to support our customers with all their grinding and brewing questions.

Her skills as a barista, and passion for Specialty Coffee have led her around the country, until she settled in the Northwest just last year. Her husband Chris Elliott handles marketing at Slayer, and Amy has extensive connections in the world of Specialty Coffee. Prior to being in coffee Amy was involved in social work at a pregnancy clinic, counseling women in crisis. This challenging experience helps her engage and support our customers with calmness and patience.

Amy says that she’s “excited about our products” and happy to share her knowledge with us. She likes our strong familial atmosphere, especially the communal lunches! At home, Amy enjoys brewing with a Chemex and often enjoys Seattle’s vibrant espresso culture. We are thrilled that she will now be part of that team, sharing her extensive coffee knowledge and supporting our customers.

Welcome Amy!

Got Itt – Baratza partner!

Pierce Jens and Quinn Anderson, both brilliant and seasoned Baratza tech specialists have joined forces to create their own company, Got Itt. They are focused on the design and manufacture of parts and accessories that enhance our existing grinder product range. Their first available product is a Timer Switch Conversion Kit for the Encore, and soon to come to market will be an all-metal portafilter holder for our conical burr grinders. We’re delighted to share that Pierce and Quinn will be joining us in the booth to share their products and stories of adventures into the world of entrepreneurship, design and manufacturing! Their initial funding will be via Kickstarter and we’ll post information as it becomes available. Please be sure to stop by the booth to see them and/or check out their website here. Their products will be available directly through the Got Itt website.

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SCAA/Baratza Happenings 2015

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Baratza at SCAA 2015 – BOOTH 10041 (South Hall)

Wow – only one week away from The Event that is #SCAA2015. Once again, we’ll be in our hometown of Seattle for this 27th Specialty Coffee Association of America Expo! It’s going to be a hugely exciting few days of connecting with our customers and the Specialty Coffee community – at our headquarters, in our booth, at parties, at competitions, and all over town! It feels like we will be everywhere! We’re excited to be a part of so many brewing set ups from pop up cafes to in-booth for support of product demoes. Our sincere thanks in advance to all our customers and partners who have chosen to use our grinders at the Event. Here’s what we’ve go going on – so far!

All day, every day – Kyra Kennedy and Kyle Anderson, Baratza co-owners and fearless leaders will be in the booth, as well as Joyce Klassen (Marketing), Sarah Dooley (Education), Karen Kawaguchi (International Operations) plus Colin Francois, Pierce Jens and Amy Elliott from our support team! Come and check out our complete line up of grinders – home and commercial. In addition, we’ve got some new accessories from a new local start-up called Got Itt!

Baratza BrewBar:

Come taste great coffee from a rotation of wonderful roasters, including Stumptown, Tony’s, IPC, Anodyne, Temple, ChocolateFishCoffee, Kuma and Klatch.

We have a brilliant line up of Special Guests this year. The daily schedule will go out soon.

  • US Brewers Cup top 3 winners: Sarah Anderson (Intelligentsia Coffee, LA), Jenny Bonchak (Slingshot Coffee, Raleigh, NC), Todd Goldsworthy (Klatch Coffee, LA) brewing their magic
  • Mark Prince pulling shots of espresso on the GS/3
  • James Tooill (La Colombe) US Cup Tasters Champion, brewing on the Dragon
  • Andy Newbom of IPC sharing his love of Mexican coffees
  • Sarah Dooley (Milk&Coffee Co) and Jill Smith (Pure Eire Dairy) reviving us with Affogatos – yes, you read it right!

Sponsorships:

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World Aeropress Championship, happening on Thursday at Within Sodo. Top 3 in the world will be heading to their respective countries, grinders in hand! Details.

Java Jog – Friday morning, Team Baratza will be walking early to support Women in Coffee in Ethiopia. If you’d like to help support this important work at origin please donate here: Java Jog for a Cause.

Cup Taster’s Challenge – Friday at 7pm ‪@stumptowncoffee on 12th Ave. Follow NWCupTasters for all the latest details.

Social:

Need help finding all the booths and events? Download the SCAA App or follow us on Twitter @Baratza or same name on Instagram!

Be sure to stop by the booth to say hello. See you next week!!

Recalibration of a Conical Burr Grinder

by Pierce Jens, Technical Support
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The amount of information that is at the tip of our fingers, thanks to the Internet, is a powerful asset. Unfortunately this power can be bad as well as good, for information can be skewed or misinterpreted and then shared. I wish to set straight some aspects of our grinders and troubleshooting info that I have seen misinterpreted by do-it-yourself-at-home grinder repair folks.
The calibration adjustment of each of our conical coffee grinders is in place for us to use at the factory during manufacturing. Each of the individual parts that compose any assembly, including our grinders, has a manufacturing tolerance- whether it be in millionths of a micrometer or in fractions of an inch, everything that is made will have slight variations in size. After assembling the grinder, we use the calibration adjustment to standardize the burr touch time of the unit, so as to ensure the proper range of grind size will come out when you adjust the grind between 0 and 40.

Adjusting the calibration screw of your grinder will shift the grind range, but it does not affect consistency. Let us take an example. If you enjoy your Chemex extraction made with setting 22 on your Virtuoso, adjusting the calibration screw finer will shift your preferred grind setting to 24, or perhaps 26. On the other hand, if you were to adjust the calibration screw to a coarser slot, then your preferred grind setting will shift down- perhaps setting 20 or 18 will result in your favorite extraction.

The only reason to recalibrate a conical grinder would be if the grind produced at setting 1 is not fine enough, or the grind produced at setting 39 is not coarse enough. If the grinder was getting fine or coarse enough, and now is suddenly not, chances are good that following our “How to Troubleshoot a Grind Quality Issue’ video will reveal the culprit. Recalibration may be needed with older/well used units to compensate for burr wear.

Baratza Production Expansion in Taiwan

We feel gratified to share that Baratza grew at a rate of 66% last year Internationally, and over 30% in the US, per year, for the last 5+ years! The ongoing interest and demand for Specialty Coffee, and quality grinders to grind it, has fueled this growth. Keeping up with this demand has presented exciting challenges for our factory in Taichung, Taiwan. Last year, together with our main partner/supplier, PSI, we began the process of building a new factory for Baratza’s grinder production.

Under the guidance of PSI owner Leo Fu, and Brenda Fu, the General Contractor, a beautiful new factory has been built to allow us the space and capacity to continue our growth. Just last week, Baratza Co-Owners, Kyra Kennedy and Kyle Anderson, joined our Taiwan team for a fun Chinese New Year party, and celebration of the new building. Of the 80 or so people at the party, we welcomed many of our close suppliers, factory workers and their families. We now have about 30,000 square feet of production area and new offices, all of it beautifully decorated and ready for a bright future. We are pleased to announce we will begin production in the new factory on March 3 and more pictures of the factory will come, after we are up and running!

Pictured below left to right are: Brenda Fu, Doug & Barb Garrott of Orphan Espresso, Leo Fu, Kyra Kennedy, Kyle and Carole Anderson.
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Life Expectancy of Burrs

by Kyle Anderson, Baratza Co-Founder and Chief Engineer

People ask us all the time about life expectancy of their burrs. It’s hard to give a hard and fast rule as the life expectancy of a burr varies, depending on the type of coffee, degree of roast, grind size, volume ground, and any rocks you may run into! The increasingly popular lighter roasted beans tend to be a lot harder on the burrs. However, as a good rule of thumb you can expect the burrs on our grinders to last as follows:

  • Encore, Virtuoso, Preciso and flat steel burrs (Vario and Forté) – 500-1000 pounds of coffee
  • Ceramic burrs (Vario and Forté) – 1000 to 1500 pounds of coffee

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So, take my household for example, I mainly use a Forté-AP to grind for espresso. My household, plus some of the Baratza team, makes about 12 double shots a day, each dosed at 20 grams. The Forté-AP is grinding 240 grams a day or around 87,600 grams/year. There are 453 grams of coffee in a pound. So I am grinding about 193 pounds/year. This number is a little low since once a month I use my grinder to cater a coffee hour at our clubhouse and serve about 100 drinks. So I estimate that I grind about 198 pounds of coffee a year. Therefore, my Forté-AP burrs should last about 5 to 7 years!

It is difficult to know when to change the burrs. One clear indication that it is time for new burrs is if your grinder is not capable of grinding coarse any more. If you have questions or issues about your burrs and grinding, we have some great technical support videos on our YouTube Channel and grinder specific, frequently asked questions, here on our website’s troubleshooting page. I encourage you to check these out.

Baratza Travel – Safe & Strong!

For years we’ve had people asking about tough, protective cases to use when they take their Baratza grinders on the road for demos, pop-ups, catering, competitions and more! We developed one as special thank you and it seems like it got a bit of attention after some pictures were posted! If you’d like one, you can make a special order!

So here’s what it looks like:
IMG_20141226_131335IMG_20141226_131355The Details:
Made by: Pelican
Size: Medium
Fit: Can be customized to fit any Baratza grinder (yes indeed!)
Price: $120 plus shipping and taxes (includes customized fitting for your existing grinder)
Timeline: 2 weeks from ordering
How to Order:Email Sales@Baratza.com with your order, we’ll call to get your credit card details before processing the order.

Safe Travels!

Grinding for Espresso – Metal vs Ceramic Burrs

by Sarah Dooley and Pierce Jens

Forte ceramic burr_TSH4472lrSince the introduction of the Forte AP and BG grinders, the team at Baratza has been doing a lot of taste testing on both grinders. With regards to tasting espresso specifically, we have noticed that the ceramic burrs produce a traditional espresso flavor profile. They are great for blends and particularly coffees roasted for espresso. The cup flavors are complex, and usually have more body and mouth feel in comparison to the steel burrs (depending on the coffee).

The steel burrs have been engineered to produce a more even particle distribution and less fines. These burrs are ideal for pourover, batch, or home brewers and what we have termed, a “modern style espresso”.

FORTE holding steel burr_TSH4540 hiTo expand a little on the term “modern style espresso” – we feel that espresso with our steel burrs tastes different, due to the lack of fines (or the very small grind particles) in the particle grouping. Overall, the ground coffee is more similar in size, especially in comparison to our ceramic burrs. The results in flavor profile are more simple flavors and a clean mouth feel. We like this burr set for single origin coffees not necessarily limited to coffees roasted for espresso or called espresso roast.

Which set is best for you? Oddly when we did a side-by-side taste test our test audience was split down the middle on preferences. The biggest differences really came into play for taste when we separated coffees roasted for espresso and coffees not roasted for espresso. With that isolated variable the ceramic had more sweetness for coffees roasted for espresso and the steel burrs clarity of flavor seemed better for espresso, with coffees at production or non-espresso roasts.

In the end, it’s what tastes best to you. We don’t even pretend to know how to tell you how to taste and are just sharing our taste experiences thus far. We hope our opinion has been of assistance!

Baratza Discount to Barista Guild of America (BGA) Members

To support the members of BGA who have chosen to join this organization for their professional development we now offer a special discount on our grinders!

We are offering 25% off MSRP pricing online at the Baratza website, plus free shipping (within the US). One grinder purchase only per year. BGA Members need to enter a special code when checking out of the online store. Forté AP and Forté BG not included in this offer

To get the discount code: Log into your profile via scaa.org (all guild sites also route to the login page at scaa.org) and once logged in, go to “Digital Library” as a link on your profile. Once you click the Digital Library, you can access your benefits packet. The code is in the benefits packet!

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Baratza, Sarah Dooley, and Milk And Coffee

Change is in the air!  Sarah Dooley, our Education and Quality Manager is at the starting line of a new adventure! Bittersweet as it is, we are super excited for Sarah as she transitions to her own company, while she continues in her role at Baratza.  Read on as Sarah shares her story about the change!

I have had the privilege of working with some of the most inspiring, talented, generous and giving people. Last year, in early Fall I joined Baratza for a variety of reasons. I wanted to connect to the design and engineering of a product, and be a part of a start-to-finish product development team. I also was really curious to learn about how marketing and sales work for a small niche product, and company, as I prepare for the future and business ownership. Kyra Kennedy and Kyle Anderson partnered ten years ago creating Baratza, and a product line they noted was missing from the consuming market, commercially inspired home grinders. Kyra directs national and international sales, while Kyle engineers and oversees design. There is some crossover in their roles as well. They challenge each other, work incredibly well with each other, know what they want and most importantly, what they don’t want. It’s really hard to sum up how special these two people really are to me without getting too wordy (which I have been told, I do). I’ve put it to a few simple words.

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Very early on in my employment I found myself sitting in an upstairs office, overlooking Lake Washington, being encouraged to develop and move towards my dream by two very successful, hardworking entrepreneurs. Along with the guidance and encouragement of Baratza, and some amazing support from family and friends, I am developing a new business called Milk And Coffee. Grateful is the one word I use to describe where I’ve been and where I get to go.

Thank you Baratza for the planning meetings, conversations, encouragement and the gentle nudge to move out of my comfort zones and into the difficult at times, unknown. You have become so much more then employers and I am both proud and honored to call you my friends. For the time being, I’m reducing my time at Baratza, as I build Milk And Coffee. I will continue to provide support to our customers, focus on our education mission and products through training guides and videos, and be a resource on ongoing product development at Baratza.